MORONGO VALLEY, Calif. --Hazel "Toots" Bybee, 96, formerly of Curtis, died Wednesday (Sept. 27, 2006) at the home of her daughter. Toots was born on March 22, 1910, on a farm south of Curtis. Daughter of Robert W. and Mary Etta (Stalder) Florom.
At the age of seven her family moved into town where she attended the old and new Curtis grade schools and graduated high school at Nebraska School of Agriculture.
While Toots was working at the Glenwood Inn Cafe she met Everett E. Bybee of Bridgeport, Neb., he was working for C.B.& Q.R.R. in Curtis, and they were married on Jan. 7, 1928.
In 1929, Toots and Everett and Lilly and Earl Carlon opened the Green Lantern Cafe. During World War II she helped with the canteen in North Platte.
In 1949, Toots and Everett bought the Lakeview Hotel, later renaming it the Bybee Hotel. Their motto was "You are a stranger here, not even once." They were proud to host the news and radio crews accompanying the University of Nebraska football team. Butch Ross, Doc Watkins, along with Everett and Toots formed the Curtis Press Club.
In 1957, they left Curtis and moved to Oregon, moving to California in 1960. They managed mobile home parks in the Glendora and Covina area until 1963, when they moved to Morongo Valley, to manage the Morongo Mobile Manor. They retired in 1970, and traveled. Toots always looked forward to her trips to Nebraska and enjoyed spending time with family and friends.
Toots was a member of the Women's Relief Corps; also an active member of the Golden Age Club, now known as the Morongo Social Club, where she was president for six years and board member until 2000, a charter member of Road Runner Grange, holding all offices. She was a 30-year member of Morongo Valley Women's Club, serving as president for two years and as program chairman for 10 years. Toots was active in the Women of the Moose. She was a member of the Church of the Lighted Cross and the former Community Baptist Church. An accomplished poet, Toots wrote more than 100 poems and could recite any of them upon request.
Her friendships were many and she was always helping others in need. Her loss will be felt deeply by all who knew her.
Survivors include two daughters Mary Nell Linnemeyer of Dannebrog, Neb., and Leona May and husband, Jack Eriksen of Morongo Valley, Calif.; daughters-in-law Rose Ann Bybee of Kansas City, Mo.; grandchildren Karen and Steve Allen of Kansas City, Mo., Linda and Scott Davis of Maywood, Neb., Steve Linnemeyer of Dannebrog, Neb., Judy and Jody Lewis of Las Vegas, Nev., Teena and Dennis Hale of Morongo Valley, Calif., Larry and Linda Bybee, Dennis and Paula Bybee, and Kathleen and Brian Basham all of Kansas City, Mo., Donald Bybee of California,and Carol Ann and Steve Lambert of McCook, Neb.; step grandsons; Jack Eriksen of Gresham, Ore., and Jerid Eriksen of Apple Valley; 24 great-grandchildren 10 step great-grandchildren, 17 great-great-grandchildren and 14 step great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 63 years Everett E.; two sons Lawerence Eugene (Gene) and Robert Mason (Bob) Bybee; two sons-in-law Lewis Linnemeyer and Don Hille, her grandsons Arnold Hille and Robert Earl Bybee, a sister Lillian Carlon, four brothers Harvey, Hazen, William and Leonard(Jeff)Florom.
Services were Friday, Oct. 6, at Mt. Valley Memorial Park in Joshua Tree. Mrs. Bybee's niece, Pastor Sue Keim of Mesa, Ariz., officiated.